The different types of divorce

Since the law of May 26, 2004 (entry into force on January 1, 2005), there are indeed four divorce procedures more or less conflicting:

  • Divorce by mutual consent (article 230 of the Civil Code): both spouses agree on the principle of divorce and its consequences, in particular with regard to common property and children
  • The divorce for acceptance of the principle of the break (Article 233 and 234 of the Civil Code): the two spouses agree to divorce but not on the consequences of divorce
  • Divorce for definitive alteration of the conjugal bond (Article 237 of the Civil Code): the two spouses have been separated for at least two years and one of them wishes to formalize the separation by divorcing
  • Divorce for misconduct (Article 242 of the Civil Code): one of the spouses reproaches the other for "facts constituting a serious or renewed violation of the duties and obligations of the marriage rendering intolerable the maintenance of the common life"

The court competent to judge divorce cases is the High Court of the place of residence of the spouses. If they are already separated, it is the home of the spouse where the children live. If the spouses do not have children, the competent court is the domicile of the defendant.

The procedure is different depending on whether it is a divorce by mutual consent or another type of divorce.

For divorces by mutual consent, the lawyer drafts the petition for divorce which will seize the Tribunal and the divorce agreement, which will settle all the effects of it. These documents, reproduced in four copies and signed, are then filed with the Tribunal.

The spouses and the lawyer (s) receive approximately one month later a notice to attend a hearing before the Family Justice Judge.

At the hearing, the judge examines the petition and agreement and if everything seems to him in order, he homologates the convention and pronounces the divorce. The lawyer or lawyers receive a few weeks later the divorce decree, which allows to ask the mayor of the place of marriage of former spouses to transcribe on their marriage certificate. Divorce is then opposable to all.

For the other three cases of divorce, the lawyer drafts the petition for divorce which will seize the Tribunal, an unmotivated request which includes the requests formulated provisionally. These are the measures between spouses and with regard to children, applicable during the divorce proceedings (fixing the residence of each spouse and children, access and accommodation for the parent where the children will reside. no, payment of alimony …).

The motion is then filed with the Tribunal and the applicant's spouses and counsel receive approximately one month later a notice to attend a hearing before the Family Justice Judge.

At this hearing, the Judge examines the petition and hears the spouses on their position on the principle of divorce and its consequences. It seeks to promote the agreements as much as possible. If the divorce seems unavoidable, it rules on the provisional measures formulated in the petition and makes, a few weeks later, an order.

After this first phase common to the three cases of divorce, the choice of the procedure will condition the content of the summons and the evidence that must be provided to the Judge to succeed. Whatever the procedure of divorce, the summons must contain, on pain of inadmissibility, a proposal for a settlement of the pecuniary and pecuniary interests of the spouses. The remainder of the proceedings is exclusively written and, barring any incident concerning provisional measures, the spouses will no longer be summoned to the Tribunal by the Judge.

The divorce procedure can be longer or shorter depending on the elements that each spouse wishes to assert. When neither of the two spouses has any additional elements to invoke, the case is closed and the Judge makes a judgment of divorce.

If a party is dissatisfied with the decision, it has the opportunity to appeal within one month of being served.